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Side Effects

The most common side effects are dizziness, light-headedness, drowsiness, and clumsiness or unsteadiness. These problems usually go away as the body adjusts to the drug and do not require medical treatment unless they persist or interfere with normal activities.

More serious side effects are not common, but may occur. If any of the following side effects occur, check with the physician who prescribed the medicine immediately:

  • Fever
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Chest pain or tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Skin problems, such as rash, hives, or red, thickened, or scaly skin
  • Bleeding sores on the lips
  • Sores or painful white spots in the mouth
  • Swollen eyelids, face, or lips

In addition, check with a physician as soon as possible if confusion, depression, or unusual excitement occur after taking barbiturates.

Patients who take barbiturates for a long time or at high doses may notice side effects for some time after they stop taking the drug. These effects usually appear within 8-16 hours after the patient stops taking the medicine. Check with a physician if these or other troublesome symptoms occur after stopping treatment with barbiturates:

  • Dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness
  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Vision problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Muscle twitches or trembling hands
  • Weakness
  • Sleep problems, nightmares, or increased dreaming

Other side effects may occur. Anyone who has unusual symptoms during or after treatment with barbiturates should get in touch with his or her physician.

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